I regularly try to take time to reflect on the impact that people, ministries and seasons of life have on my life as a whole. As I’ve reflected over the past month on the impact that one person could have, I’ve realized that the impact can be immeasurable.
Last month one of my very best friends stepped into eternity. She lived a life that made a greater impact than she could have ever imagined. She lived a life of faith, love, grace and mercy.
I’m talking about my sweet Memaw.
In her 83 years on earth, she lived more history than I’ll ever know. Her stories were great. She was a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a great-grandmother, a sister, a friend. I believe everyone who knew her thought they were her best friend. She remembered details of everyone’s life. She told everyone she loved them, and she genuinely did. She was a nursery worker, a Sunday School teacher for many different age groups, she was a loyal employee and, when she retired, she babysat her grandkids and others whom she treated as grandchildren.
While there are so many memories that bring great joy to me (and make the sadness of her death even harder) – from her sitting in the middle between my sister and me on long car rides to summer vacation destinations, to her teaching me how to cook, to coming in after school and trying her best to help me understand pre-algebra – the things that mean the most to me, as I seek to follow Christ as she did, relate to God’s work through her.
As I mentioned earlier, her life of faith was displayed as she loved all who entered her home – and her home was open to everyone. She was the best cook – no one will ever be able to compete with her fried chicken – and she used those skills to further her gift of hospitality. She exuded God’s grace and mercy in the countless struggles that six children and dozens of grandchildren and great-grandchildren create! She sang God’s goodness and love over us. She prayed for us. She supported God’s call and work in our lives. She encouraged us to turn to God in the midst of life’s challenges. She asked us to pray for others. She believed in the power of prayer. She looked to Jesus daily – not only for her strength but on behalf of those whom God had placed in her life.
When I think about the impact of one life, I think of my Memaw. She not only celebrates eternity with the One Whom she lived for, but her impact will be known throughout eternity for a life well lived: a life that, I pray, lives on through the many that she impacted.
What will be the impact your one life makes?